There are a number of direct daily flights to Alicante from London and other cities in the United Kingdom. The flight time from London to Alicante is two hours and 30 minutes. You can find numerous cheap flights to Alicante, and airlines that offer direct flights include British Airways, Iberia, Ryan Air, Norwegian Air International, and easyJet. Alicante Airport is the fifth largest airport in Spain and is considered the gateway to the popular Costa Blanca region. There are a number of car hire options at Alicante Airport and it is easiest to pick up your rental car at the airport on your arrival instead of in the city itself. Once you're ensconced, there's much to explore. You might choose to stay right on the port, by the water in the Ensanche Diputación district, where you'll find plentiful shopping, restaurants, and cafes. If you're more interested in beach access and nightlife, head to the area of Playa de San Juan, which offers both a white sand beach and boulevards lined with buzzy bars. In the quieter neighbourhood of Sant Blai, you can spend time in a large city park, home to a historic castle ruins as well as mini-golf.
Visit Castillo de Santa Barbara, the magnificent castle that towers above the city. The castle was built in the 9th century and is very well preserved. The rooms are filled with artefacts and information about the castle's history. The views from the roof ramparts across the city and towards the sea are worth the climb. There is a market in the main courtyard that sells handmade trinkets and souvenirs. Playa del Postiguet is one of the best beaches on the Costa Blanca. The beach runs the entire length of the city of Alicante and into neighbouring San Juan. You are sure to find a spot on the huge beach to sunbathe. There is a bar on one of the quieter sections of the beach and it is an easy walk from the bar to the promenade to get some tapas.
Alicante is one of the most popular places to visit in Spain. However, if you rent a car in Alicante, you can escape the crowds and head north to explore the rural sections of the Costa Blanca. Just an hour out of Alicante, the landscape becomes mountainous and green. Head out and discover small villages such as Denia, Javea, and the towns of the Orba Valley. The landscape around Alicante is brown, arid, and flat. The main draw for the area are the magnificent beaches that line the coast. Spend at least a few days of your holiday driving along the coastline and finding uncrowded beaches and traditional Spanish villages. Take a boat trip from one of these villages to see the coastline from the ocean and discover a different side to the Costa Blanca.
To drive in Spain, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid drivers license. Rental car companies require that drivers be over the age of 21. To rent a car in Alicante, and throughout Spain, you must have held a drivers license for at least two years. You do not need an International Drivers Permit if you come from an EU country. In Alicante, you will drive on the right-hand side of the road. Take your time to get used to this, and leave extra space between yourself and the next car. Take special care when leaving a parking lot and going around a traffic circle. If you wear glasses when driving, you need to carry a spare pair in the car and be able to produce them on request.